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An experimental study of service recovery options

Christo Boshoff (University of Port Elizabeth, South Africa)

International Journal of Service Industry Management

ISSN: 0956-4233

Article publication date: 1 May 1997


As the importance of service quality, as both marketing strategy and competitive advantage, gains more and more recognition, efforts to recover from poor service delivery are receiving increased attention. Yet, much of the literature is based on anecdotal accounts rather than theoretical conceptualizations or rigorous empirical assessment. At least one retailing study has shown that more than 70 per cent of customers who complain can be persuaded to continue shopping with the offending retailer provided that some effort is made to recover. Little, however, is known about which strategies to employ or how these strategies interact to influence customer perceptions and attitudes, especially in a services environment. Assesses, from a management perspective, the impact three service recovery options (decisions) can have on customer satisfaction: time/speed; level of atonement; and who should be involved in service recovery. Finds that level of atonement (a tangible offering) emerged as the most dominant main effect followed by time/speed, while the organizational position of the person involved in service recovery was not significant as a main effect.



Boshoff, C. (1997), "An experimental study of service recovery options", International Journal of Service Industry Management, Vol. 8 No. 2, pp. 110-130.




Copyright © 1997, MCB UP Limited